We all are all ready for a Disney vacation right? In fact, a permanent vacation to the wonderful world of Walt Disney would be even better. Who is in?
Well Grumpy has some good news and some bad news. First the bad, a permanent vacation is probably not going to happen but keep wishing on those stars you never know! I would not recommend kissing any frogs though.
And now the good news! Grumpy can now help you take the hassle out your vacation planning. That’s right Grumpy can do the work for you as your own personal travel specialist. I have joined the Magical Vacations By Me team!
From finding the right room for you at the best price, to getting up early in the morning to get those hard to get ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) and customizing your Magic Bands. Grumpy can help you do it all!
But why not book directly with Disney you say? Well you could do that and once you have booked your trip you are on your own. But what if a better price comes along later is Disney going to call you and let you know? Doubtful. But Grumpy will be on the case and get you the best rate possible!
If you have been to Hollywood Studios you have no doubt noticed the big dinosaur. She is in Echo lake just chilling . If you an ice cream fan you know exactly where she. This dinosaur is home to Dinosaur Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction.
But the dinosaur, named Gertie as you might have guessed from the ice cream shop, seems a little out of place in Hollywood Studios. In fact Grumpy finally broke down and did a little research to find out exactly what this dinosaur is doing at Hollywood Studios. Turns out there is a good reason!
What Is This Dinosaur
Getie looks very cartoonish. In fact she looks neglected and in need of a good coat of paint, preferably in some more vibrant colors. But when you understand her history and the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios you will find she is perfect.
Gertie is a tribute to one of the original cartoon superstars, named Gertie of course. She was created to prove that animation really worked. When she was created, in 1914, people were skeptical about animation and moving pictures in general. So Winsor McCay created Gertie. You can see the original Gertie short below. Keep in mind this was in the era of silent films and before “talkies.”
So that explains who Gertie is but why is she at Hollywood Studios? When Hollywood Studios was Disney’s MGM Studios the park was dedicated to more than just fun rides and shows. It was a place to learn about how movies were made. It was also a place to pay tribute to the great movies of the past, which is why Gertie is perfect just where she is.
As for the paint job, well she is consistent with the era of movies she represents. Nothing too fancy.
Is Gertie headed for extinction?
Rumors abound that Hollywood Studios is going to be getting a major expansion soon. Bog Iger, the big cheese over all Walt Disney companies and subsidiaries, has all but confirmed that Star Wars is coming to Hollywood Studios. A Carsland or Pixarland may also be coming.
While more is certainly better in this case the question is where will this expansion go? As much as Grumpy would love to say they will increase the size of the park it is highly unlikely that Disney will expand the park that much. In fact they may not expand it all.
That means somethings will have to go away. The Backlot Studio Tour and the American Idol Experience are already gone. Rumors say that The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and Lights, Motor Action! are soon to follow. And unfortunately for Gertie, rumors are circulating that Echo Lake and Gertie are on their way out too.
But rumors are just rumors we can still hope that Hollywood Studios Gertie the dinosaur gets a reprieve and escapes extinction.
Want to learn more about Gertie? Click here for an excellent article.
The Walt Disney Company is releasing a Cinderella Live Action Movie. While at first Grumpy did not have any interest in seeing this one at all after watching the trailer he changed his mind. There is just something in Grumpy, maybe in all of us, that loves to see the underdog win and obviously Cinderella is the Queen of the underdogs. After all how many times of you heard some team or some individual called a Cinderella Story?
Another reason may be last year’s retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, Malificent. Again Grumpy had no interest in seeing it but Mrs. Grumpy bought it (Disney Movie Club member and all that) so we sat down and watched it. Turned out to be a really good movie!
Have you stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs? More importantly are you considering staying there and wondering if it is for you? This Coronado Springs Review might help you figure out if this resort is for you.
If you are a fan of Woody and Buzz Grumpy has good news for you. Pixar just announced there will be a Toy Story 4. The bad news is you have to wait till June of 2017.
Toy Story 4
There are no plot details yet for Toy Story 4. All of that is being kept under wraps. It’s a good bet we won’t be seeing Andy or his mom anymore since Toy Story 3 ended with all the toys being given to Bonnie. Continue reading Toy Story 4→
Ever wanted to take a cruise on some of the worlds most famous and dangerous rivers? Then the Jungle Cruise might be for you. It is a ten minute expedition through four exotic rivers. There are plenty of dangerous animals and a few dangerous humans. Fortunately both the animals and the humans are the audio-animatronic variety.
The Jungle Cruise opened on October 1st, 1971, the same day the Magic Kingdom opened to the world. It was based on the Jungle Cruise attraction at Disneyland and the two are similar but not identical.
The Disneyland ride was inspired by the Walt Disney produced True Life Adventures and the movie The African Queen. Originally Walt had wanted to use live animals. That idea was scrapped when he realized the animals would not stay where he wanted them to be.
The Disneyland original also lacked the humor of both the current Magic Kingdom and Disneyland attractions. The Jungle Cruise was meant to be a realistic look at the jungles of the world. In 1962 the comedy was added to the spiel at Disneyland. When the ride opened in 1971 at the Magic Kingdom it mimicked the comedic Disneyland spiel.
This ride is set in the 1930’s at a British river outpost. The outpost is operated by the fictional Jungle Navigation Co. As guests enter the queue they can hear broadcasts by Albert Awol.
Guests are invited to take a cruise with the Jungle Navigation Co. The trip is made in one of fifteen boats (only a maximum of ten are in operation at any given time.)
The Jungle Cruise
Guests enter the Jungle Navigation Co outpost. The queue is filled with items that would be present in a typical outpost of the era. Some, however, have a humorous touch like the chalk board listing missing persons with names like Ilene Dover. The queue winds around a lot so sometimes the wait time can be deceptively long. The queue is covered but outside which means in the summer it can be a very hot wait.
Once the wait is over guests board tramp steamers for the actual cruise. The cruise features four rivers on four continents. While there is some great scenery and impressive animatronics it is the skipper (a real person) or your boat who can really make or break the trip. The skippers tell corny jokes throughout the ride and his or her enthusiasm (or lack thereof) really makes the difference.
The first river is the Amazon and is a very short section of the ride.
Next travelers enter the Congo. There are three scenes, the pygmies, a snake and the gorilla camp.
The Nile is next and is by the far the longest section of the ride. There are multiple scenes here but the best are the totem pole scene and the head hunters. Elephants and rhinos will threaten to boat from the river.
The final section features the Mekong River in Asia. There are three scenes. The scariest is the temple scene. The scariest part about the temple is it is dark but nothing too scary other than that. The Mekong also feature the elephant bathing pool. This is probably the cutest scene.
All in all the ride lasts about 10 minutes.
In 2013 the Jingle Cruise was introduced. The boats get a holiday makeover, really only Christmas lights and a new name. Seasonal items are also added to the queue area. Skippers don a Santa hat and there is a holiday tone added to the script. Very few of the scenes have any change and they are very minor.
There are not height or health restrictions for the Jungle Cruise. Guests in wheelchairs and ECVs do not have to transfer but they do have to wait for one of two specially equipped boats, Bomokandi Bertha and Wamba Wanda.
Did You Know
The jungle boats used to be kept looking pristine and new but now are painted to look old and used?
While the skipper can control the speed and direction of movement the boats are actually on tracks?
Special dyes are added to the water to give it the right color. The coloring not only makes the river look authentic it also hides the boat track as well as the underwater mechanics of the audio-animatronics?
In the head hunter scene the salesman is referred to as Trader Sam or Chief Name? (Pronounced like naa-may.) Legend has it when the ride was about to open the chief had not yet been given a name. A cast member rehearsing for the ride thought the place holder “Name” was an exotic native name and pronounced it Naa-May and it stuck. Since then most have taken to calling him Trader Sam like his Disneyland counterpart.
This is certainly a great ride. Grumpy will do it at least once every trip. While it might seem like a great idea to do it at night Grumpy has found it is not that exciting. Most scenes are hard to see.
The animatronics and the vegetation are great but if you don’t have a good skipper the ride is dated. A lively skipper (who might even vary off script) makes the ride a lot better.
Disney has long been an innovator. Among the more recent Disney innovations are the interactive queues. But they are not Disney’s first attempt at interactivity. Before you could sort gems with the seven dwarfs there was Pal Mickey.
Pal Mickey was a ten inch Mickey Mouse plush but he was more than just a toy to carry around. He was an interactive tour guide to all four parks at Walt Disney World. Continue reading Pal Mickey→
Disney recently released special offers for late 2014 and early 2015. Grumpy is pleased to announce that his official travel partner, Magical Vacations By Me, has added a little sweetener to the deal.
There are two offers. To qualify for either you must book your vacation package by December 29th, 2014. To add a little extra magic the great people at Magical Vacations By Me will send you a free $25 Disney gift card for any package that includes at least a four night stay. To receive the free gift card books must be made by December 31st, 2014.
The two offers are the Stay, Play and Dine plan and the room discount. Details below.
Stay, Play And Dine
Stay, Play and Dine is not the same thing as free dining. Instead guests receive a discount on their resort reservation, theme park tickets and dining plan. All three must be purchased to qualify for the discount. Offer valid on dates between December 14th-20th and again between January 4th to March 7th.
The second offer is a straight room discount. The discount is up to 30% for Deluxe resorts. Moderate and Value resorts are up to 25% and 20% respectively. This offer valid on trips from January 5th to March 28th.
As with many Walt Disney World Discount offers there are some resorts and rooms that are excluded. They include the Little Mermaid rooms at the Art of Animation, Grand Floridian Villas, Bay Lake Tower, and the Polynesian Villas. Campsites are also excluded.
If you want to take advantage of one these offers you better hurry. There are only a certain amount of rooms assigned to each discount and once they are gone they gone.
Thanks to everyone who entered our latest drawing. Our winner is Brian D. Brian, you should have an email waiting for you. Be sure to reply within 48 hours so Grumpy can get your prize to you as soon as possible.
Walt Disney World officially opened on October 1st, 1971. At the time there was only one theme park, The Magic Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom of 1971 was a lot different then the Magic Kingdom of 2014. Today let’s take a look at the original Magic Kingdom attractions and their fate over the years. Continue reading Original Magic Kingdom Attractions→